AKRON, Ohio, March 23, 2021 –This year’s Goodyear Innovation Challenge featured a record number of student proposals that addressed current mobility challenges.
The competition, sponsored by Goodyear in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University for the fifth straight year, went fully virtual for the first time. The competition allowed master’s degree students in the United States to use their design and business innovation skills to strategically identify opportunities to win in the future of mobility given a post-pandemic new normal.
Five teams were selected to participate in the five-day virtual hackathon, where students were mentored by Goodyear’s Akron Innovation Lab associates as they developed prototypes, analyzed business models and prepared their pitches. A panel of Goodyear Design and Innovation leaders served as judges during the pitch presentations.
The first-place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Sudip Guha, Noe Lemus-Diaz and Winnie Siqi Wu from Santa Clara University, whose proposal addressed the shortage of auto technicians with a mobility-as-a-service technician entrepreneurship program.
The second-place prize was awarded to Katarina Chan, Molly Ketch, Nadia Ogene and Avril Prakash from the University of Michigan. Their pitch targeted helping Gen Z drivers learn basic vehicle maintenance through a gamified app.
The third-place prize was awarded to Abigail Brenller, Akhil Gupta, Emily Hays and Sachin Pai from Georgia Institute of Technology, whose proposal addressed opportunities related to fleet management solutions.
Other participating teams included students from Texas Christian University, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University.
“Going virtual with this year’s challenge allowed us to reach a whole new set of ambitious students who impressed us with their innovative and creative proposals,” said John Brainerd, Goodyear manager, Innovation Lab. “Thank you to all who participated and congratulations to the winning teams on their compelling pitches.”
About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 62,000 people and manufactures its products in 46 facilities in 21 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.